Universitat Pompeu Fabra

The Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB, http://grib.upf.edu) is a joint research programme of IMIM-Hospital del Mar Research Institute and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) located at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB). It is funded by AGAUR.

GRIB’s mission is to develop and apply computational methods and information technologies for a better understanding and prediction of biological phenomena, giving especial emphasis to pharmacological treatment. GRIB has extensive experience in the participation and coordination of transnational research projects. The list of the on-going European projects of the programme includes eTOX, OpenPHACTS, EMIF and RNPnet.
GRIB is currently composed of more than 70 members, organized in 9 research groups. The research activity of GRIB has led to the creation of several spin-off companies including Pharmatools, Chemotargets and Acellera Ltd.
GRIB is the coordinator of the Plataforma Tecnológica Española de Medicamentos Innovadores (PTEMI), jointly with Farmaindustria, is the node for Biomedical Informatics of the Spanish Institute of Bioinformatics (INB) and is deeply involved in the Bioinformatics Barcelona (BIB) platform which aims to boost training, research, and the transfer of technology in bioinformatics.
The research interests of the laboratory are at the interface between computation and biology, with an application focus on biomedicine. Specifically, the group develops new computational physics methods and applies them to understand biological problems mainly at the level of protein folding and binding. This knowledge is then used to design molecules with therapeutic applications in mind. The group has three main research lines:

  • Biomedicine: search of new molecules to alter protein behaviour with possible therapeutic implications, using new simulation-based methods for drug discovery.
  • Computational physics: development of new codes for molecular dynamics simulations running on special hardware to maximize the data throughput and extend the window of exploration of biological phenomena by simulations.
  • Protein folding and binding: computationally investigate biological systems to understand the mechanisms of biological processes at the atomistic level.

UPF will play a substantial role in WP2 (Task 2.3) Molecularly-based Medicine Exemplar Research and in WP6: Empowering Biomedical Applications.


Key Personnel

Professor Gianni de Fabritiis – ICREA research Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), is the group leader of the Computational Biophysics laboratory of GRIB and associate Professor of the Master of Bioinformatics for Health Sciences (UPF). With a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics (1997) from University of Bologna and a PhD in computational chemistry from Queen Mary University of London (2002), he also worked for the CINECA supercomputing in Italy (1998-1999) and spent a three years postdoctoral period at UCL in the chemistry department at University College London (2003-2006) and one year at University Pompeu Fabra as visiting professor (2003). Later he won a 5 years Ramon y Cajal fellowship and the I3 program. Finally in 2014 he became ICREA professor. Prof Gianni De Fabritiis has published 80 articles in high-ranking international journals (PNAS, JACS, Nature Chemistry, Nature Commun., PLOS Comput. Bio., etc). In the last four years he gave 30 oral presentations at international conferences (18 as invited speaker) and was invited to give talks in the main pharmaceutical industries worldwide (Novartis, Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca, GSK, Janssen, etc). His H-index is 30 with over 3200 citations. His research has been featured in the journals Science and EMBO reports. He is associate editor of the Springer journal “in-silico pharmacology” and frequent reviewer in JCTC, JCIM, JACS, PLOS Comp. Bio. In the last 5 years he obtained over 1M euro in funding from European, industrial and local funding bodies.


Adrià Pérez Culubret – Holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics for Health Science from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). He is currently performing the PhD at the Computational Biophysics group in GRIB, led by Prof. Gianni De Fabritiis. His PhD is focused on improving the sampling strategies used in MD simulations to improve the generation simulation data of different biological process, as protein folding or ligand binding.